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The Working Man

Becca Hirsch | Adam Kolanski

Yes? Garrett Honakker. That’s me. The agency told me, they wanted me to speak to you directly. All right. Well. I just wanted you to know that nothing’s official. Nothing ever went to trial. And really I quit just as much as I got fired. And Elise, she- the woman, she- There were no police statements or anything like that. I’m sure of it. Nothing ever went on record. I just wanted to be honest, that’s the only reason I even. I just want everybody to be honest and upfront and there’s really no reason we can’t be, I mean, it’s over now isn’t it? Isn’t it easier to tell you beforehand to explain? I don’t want you to have to call up Mr. Morgan and ask for referrals, which I mean you can, he always said my work ethic was diligent, but I just don’t want you to call him up and be all “What rape?” I mean.

And she doesn’t call it that anymore. She was, well, she was smoking back then and drinking a lot and it’s not like I’m making excuses for what happened because what happened happened I just mean. I know there’s no going back to that job or those people and I’m not looking to change the past but I just need you to understand. I just need a job.

I talked to her once, on the phone, because I know she doesn’t want me anywhere near her now, not that there’s anything official, in writing a restraining order like that but just, you know, to be polite. And she’s not, well, she’s not calling it that anymore, not using that word and everybody’s been alerted now, now that she sent out that email, but it’s just. Once a woman says rape. I think it goes like that sometimes.

And I’m not in contact with her anymore. It was just one call, after a couple of interviews where people threw me out, couldn’t even listen, not like you, I got to this really bad place where I needed answers from her — that might be why they put anger issues, if they put that on my… Well. To be honest, I got angry. I did, for a while, because it was just like, how many times can this one woman ruin my chances at- I mean. I don’t mean to. It’s been hard you know, to know how to say and what to say. I mean women. They don’t make sense sometimes. You think, “I want you and I want to be with you,” and you think, “All I have to do is tell her, that’s what women want,” and then still. Things just don’t always work out the way you’d think. I’ve put a lot of thought into things like this, and I just feel like humans are so much more complicated than the law can tell you. It’s the kind of thing that makes you really rethink things. Anyway: I called her up one night, and I asked her what words and what day exactly, specifics, and I called my lawyer and learned my rights and my legal status, which is to say perfectly legal and just something that people need to understand, and she said that she would issue a public statement and that she didn’t need to sign anything because she would just take care of it which she did but I don’t love her anymore. Since she used me to make her seem… I don’t know. I just mean. It’s all over now. Except for me still being out of a job.

So, just to clear it all up, this is how it happened: I started on a Monday and met her that day and was attracted to her. And she made me think she wanted me too, and over a while I got to know her, two months, from November I guess until January 8, which is when she told everyone that I had raped her on New Years Eve. So over the holidays we both went to a co-worker’s Christmas party, a good friend of hers, not really somebody I knew that well because it’d been a few weeks and I was still kind of… It turned out to be kind of a bad place. Too much to drink, you know? And she drank it. And then we had sex. But the thing is, everyone had told me how she was a girl who had a reputation as a girl who led men on but never went anywhere with them, and she had told me some stories about her life and her relationships and all, kind of messed up stuff and when she went to bed with me I felt… good. Singled out. You know. Important. And then the next morning she was really out of it so I brought her back to her place, where I’d been a couple times before for drinks and things and this one fourth quarter projections meeting, and I took her in and she seemed okay and all but I didn’t really know what I should do, I mean. It was emotional territory and she was still really out of it. And she had told me this one time that this guy, this guy from her high school, had stood outside her house and screamed her name for half the night and then passed out on her porch and she had to drive him home but he started to wake up on the way so she left him on the side of the road two blocks from his house. The things you think about when you make life-changing decisions. So I headed home.

I spent all day messing around the house, calling my mother, starting the New Year off right, you know? I thought about her, sure. I wanted her to call me when she woke up and be all, “Where are you? I want you here now.” She’s really something sometimes. But then, it was hours later, late that night, I got a call from this guy, this guy at work, that she was in the hospital. So I got there right away, like a half hour later and I wanted to see her so bad and figure out if it was something that she had already had in her system when I dropped her off that morning or if it was something she had done that day and if she had done it that day because maybe because of something we had done last night. But the police came up to me and took me off to the side, you know, kind of shifty. I could tell something was going on but honestly I had no idea what. How’s a guy supposed to know? And then they told me that she had called 911 and said that a man who’d just left her house had just raped her and that then she had drank too much and then driven herself to the hospital and had a nervous breakdown and that that guy who raped her was me. And I didn’t even know what to say. Because I loved her. Sometimes you love someone and you think that you’re better because you’re with them and you think you can do no wrong and then the damn bitch goes and calls it rape. God. I’m sorry, man. I don’t mean to unload.

It was hard to tell anyone what had happened. But they figured it out. They didn’t press charges. They took my statement and they called my employer and he called me in, the day after New Years and then after that I couldn’t stay at that place anymore. Not that they wanted me. She’d been working there for almost ten years, since she was practically a kid, they said, and nothing like this had ever happened before. And it was hard to know what had even happened because she wouldn’t talk to me. But honestly. Honestly I don’t want to know anymore. You just need to understand that I, me, I got myself into this situation with a woman who couldn’t take responsibility for what happened, this crazy thing that happened between two adults, and she blamed me, and it made my life really difficult for a while but I’ve worked out what happened with the police and my old employers and the job agency and everyone. But I just want to thank you for listening. I know you probably have candidates for this position who have never been accused of rape and could tell you point blank that they would never go to a shifty New Years Eve party and never drop a woman hung-over at her house the day after but I can’t say that. I know that there are people who think that work is work and life is life and they’re separate worlds but I can’t help thinking, don’t you get it? The worst thing that she could have ever done to me she did to me, and here I am. Two weeks later. Presenting myself to the public. Handing in a resume. Isn’t that t

About Becca Hirsch

Becca Hirsch is an eighteen-year-old Californian, a writer, student, sister, and godmother, someday hoping to become an outdoor person, a morning person, and a self-reliant human being. Her first chapbook, Common Threads of Mystic Discontent, will be released as an Amazon e-book in the near future.

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